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LTU's Centrepolis Accelerator awarded $1.5M state grant to help make more products in Michigan

Release Date: August 29, 2022

SOUTHFIELD—The Centrepolis Accelerator at Lawrence Technological University has received a $1.5 million Design for Michigan Manufacturing program grant to continue its mission of developing and launching more manufactured goods made in Michigan.

The grant, from the Michigan Strategic Fund, runs through Sept. 30, 2025, with an option for additional funding for up to five additional years.

Under the grant, the accelerator will make equity-free, zero-interest investments of up to $50,000 into Michigan-based physical products and advanced manufacturing companies to assist them in getting products to market. Companies pay back the investment in full after 24 months as well as a success fee, a percentage of their gross revenue depending on revenue milestones achieved. When the Centrepolis Accelerator successfully helps a company launch a product and secure revenue, a portion of those proceeds go back to the accelerator to invest into more companies.

The grant will also allow the Centrepolis Accelerator to add more experts-in-residence in product development and manufacturing, as well as provide dedicated client support services.

“We are grateful the Michigan Strategic Fund and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation sees the successful track record of the Centrepolis Accelerator as being worthy of further support,” said Dan Radomski, Centrepolis Accelerator executive director. “We are extremely grateful for the confidence bestowed in us to help develop more Michigan made products that create jobs not only for our client but also the local manufacturing supply chain.”

Added MEDC CEO Quentin Messer: “LTU Centrepolis’ Design for Michigan Manufacturing program has launched dozens of new products made in Michigan. The track record of this program has a lasting impact on the State’s manufacturing supply chain. In just four years their clients have launched products that have generated 366 contracts to Michigan suppliers valued at $24 million.”

Founded in 2018 by LTU and the City of Southfield, the Centrepolis Accelerator is one of the few business incubators in the nation that assists physical product developers and manufacturers, rather than software developers or service companies. It provides funding, dedicated product development and manufacturing experts, and a wide variety of business services out of a 6,300-square-foot office and prototyping center on LTU’s Southfield campus. The accelerator is also unique in that it provides services to both startups and established small businesses. Since inception, it has worked to create 58 new companies, commercialize 200-plus new products, generate $89 million in new capital, and create almost 400 Michigan jobs with an average annual salary of $57,000. Its clients have been granted 255 patents.

Lawrence Technological University is one of only 13 private, technological, doctoral universities in the United States. Located in Southfield, Mich., LTU was founded in 1932, and offers more than 100 programs through its Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Business and Information Technology, and Engineering, and Specs@LTU. PayScale lists Lawrence Tech among the nation’s top 11 percent of universities for alumni salaries. Forbes and The Wall Street Journal rank LTU among the nation’s top 10 percent. U.S. News and World Report lists it in the top tier of “Best in the Midwest” colleges. Students benefit from small class sizes and a real-world, hands-on, “theory and practice” education with an emphasis on leadership. Activities on Lawrence Tech’s 107-acre campus include over 75 student organizations and NAIA varsity sports.

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Tpp 10 percent, 2022 Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education rankings